Why mental health counseling for college students is a priority

8 months ago Triangle 0

Written by: Samantha Burgess, editor in chief

 As college students balancing school, homework, athletics, extracurriculars, work and a social life, we’re all likely to buckle under the pressure of stress at some point.

It can be hard to ask for help, but when mental health begins to impede on day to day life, counseling can be a life-changing solution.

Director of Counseling Services Rachel Pacuari urges everyone to prioritize their mental health as much as they do their physical health.

“If we check up on our emotional and mental health just as much as our physical health, then we’ll be less likely to reach a breaking point,” said Pacuari.

Mental health issues that go untreated can lead to poor performance in work and school, a decline in physical health and relationships, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts.

Counseling treats depression, anxiety, grief and loss, interpersonal conflict and relational issues, trauma, stress, adjustment issues and sleep issues, among others. Once mental health issues are treated, the person can live a healthier, fuller life.

Bryan College’s free counseling services are available to any student, and the counselors will work with any issue the student is dealing with.

While Pacuari’s counseling methods are centered around a biblical lense, each student has a choice whether or not they wish to include faith in their counseling.

“We’ll ask initial questions about the students’ beliefs and then we leave it to them whether they wish to integrate scripture into their counseling sessions,” Pacuari said. “No matter their preferences, my priority is treating issues of the mind, heart and soul.” 

In addition to Bryan’s counseling services, multiple departments at Bryan have started a mental health initiative geared towards proactively addressing mental health and offering preventative education.

This year’s theme for the initiative is learning to connect with God, yourself and others. After spring break, Bryan’s counseling services will hold an hour and a half counseling session centered around the theme. 

Jack Saunders, director of the Bryan College Leadership Institute, will also hold a campus wide silence and solitude retreat focused on spiritual discipline and learning to connect with yourself and God. Dates for these events have yet to be determined.

Pacuari encourages students to take advantage of these opportunities and of Bryan’s counseling services. 

“Isolation breeds shame and a lot of people initially feel alone in their struggle,” said Pacurari. “But, Christ hasn’t called us to a life where we bear burdens alone, that’s why it’s important we offer help in times of need.”

Those who wish to know more about Bryan’s counseling services can visit the Health and Wellness page and those seeking counseling can fill out a form here.

Samantha Burgess is a senior communication major with an emphasis in digital media and is editor in chief for the Triangle. Her interests in writing include profiles and feature articles. Burgess can often be found curled up with a good book, writing, listening to music or watching Netflix.